By George “Bud” Scholl, Mayor
(Saturday, January 27, 2018) – When you think of Sunny Isles Beach, the first thing that may come to mind is the pristine beach spanning across the eastern coastline of our magnificent city. What might not come to mind is the extensive planning, lobbying for funding and regulation changes, and labor it takes to maintain the beach in the highest quality. This is where the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ beach sand renourishment project came to fruition.
Beginning in October of last year, the first batch of the 140,000 cubic yards of new sand was placed on our beach, thus initiating SIB’s coastal restoration. Additionally, private development projects will be placing sand to fill in some areas that were not covered in this project. Upon completion, our beach and namesake will be restored and rejuvenated, providing a more pleasant beach experience for all. Both the public and private sand nourishment will exceed 200,000 cubic yards of sand added to our beach.
Throughout the past couple of months, you may have seen flagmen in neon-colored safety vests and hard hats along the beach. These workers were stationed in various locations throughout the project limits to ensure the safety of pedestrians entering the beach and restrict pedestrian access into the hazardous construction area.
And while parts of the beach might have been closed for a period of time, disrupting a walking route or favorite sun spot, this unpopular decision was made out of the necessity to complete the project on time while maintaining the highest level of pedestrian safety.
Project managers endeavored to keep as much of the beach open to the public as possible, however, there were some locations in which maintaining both the safety of the project and beachgoers was impossible, thus calling for certain restrictions. When undertaking a construction project on the beach, the safety of the workers and pedestrians is always the number one priority.
With approximately 75 percent of construction complete, we are currently in the final stages of this project. I am happy to say the beach renourishment project is on track to be completed by early March, nearly three months before the original completion date.